User:Thatguy96/M35 2-1/2 ton cargo truck

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Truck, Cargo, 2 1/2 Ton, 6x6, M35
Type Medium Truck
Place of origin United States of America
Service history
In service 1951-Present
Production history
Designed 1949
Manufacturer REO, Kaiser, AM General
Produced 1950
Variants See text
Crew 2

The M35 family of trucks is a long-lived vehicle initially deployed by the United States Army, and subsequently utilized by many nations around the world. A truck in the 2 1/2 ton weight class, it was one of many vehicles in US military service to have been referred to as the "deuce and a half." The basic M35 cargo truck can carry 5000 pounds across country or 10,000 pounds over roads. Trucks in this weight class are considered medium duty by the military and Department of Transportation. The M35 series formed the basis for a wide range of specialized vehicles.

Design and Development[edit]

The M35 started out in 1949 as a design by the REO Motor Car Company. The first vehicle in the family, the M34, was quickly superseded in military usage by the M35, the major difference being the M35's dual rear axles.

The M35A2 was the predominant model at the height of the vehicle's service in the US military. An M35A2 cargo truck with winch is 112" tall, 96" wide and 277" long, 13,530 pounds empty, 13,050 pounds empty without winch. Cargo bed is 8'x12'. The M35A2 was available with a canvas soft top, as pictured, or a metal hard top.

The M35A2 are Continental or Hercules LDT-465, in-line 6 cylinder, turbocharged multifuel engines with 134 bhp (100 kW) and 330 lb·ft (447 N·m) of torque. This is coupled with a 5-speed manual transmission and divorced 2-speed transfer case (Either an automatic transfer case (Rockwell 136-21) or air-operated selectable transfer case (Rockwell 136-27). Multifuel engines run on almost any type of diesel fuel, jet fuel, kerosene, heating oil or gasoline. Gasoline is only used in an emergency because it does not lube the injector pump.

While this was a common configuration, there were four different configurations: standard, A1, A2 or A3 configuration. These changes mainly had to do with the engine and transmission components. A1s replaced the original REO/Continental OA331 gasoline engines with LDS-427-2 Multifuel, and added an additional forward gear and overdrive to the transmission. A2 trucks recieved the LDS-465 engine (with or with a turbocharger), keeping the transmission of the A1s. In 1994 the A3 variant was introduced as part of Extended Service Program, and between then and 1999, all series vehicles received the Caterpillar 3116 Diesel engine and had their manual transmissions replaced with automatic ones, as well as receiving numerous other improvements. No new A3 standard vehicles were produced, all vehicles being upgraded from previous configurations.

The curb weight of an M35 is between 13,000 and 16,000 pounds empty, depending on configuration (cargo, wrecker, tractor, etc.). Its top speed is 56 mph (90 km/h), though maximum cruising speed is approximately 48 mph (77 km/h). Fuel economy is 11 MPG highway and 8 MPG city, giving the deuce a 400-500 mile range on its 50 US gallon single fuel tank.

Brake system is air-over-hydraulic six wheel drum with a driveline parking brake. Braking performance is similar to other power drum brake vehicles. Due to this brake system and GVWR under 26,001 pounds, the big deuce can be driven without a commercial driver's license in most states. California requires a CDL to operate an M35 on public roads.

The electrical system is 24 volt, using two 12 volt batteries run in series.

Many deuces are equipped with a 10,000 pound PTO driven front winch.

Operational History[edit]

The M35 family was introduced into the US military to replace the GMC CCKW and M135 families cargo trucks still in service at the time. The M35 would not completely replace the M135 family until the middle of the 1960s. However, the M35 would quickly become the dominant truck in its class in the US military, serving with all the services in various capacities.

The M35 series was to be replaced by the Light Medium Tactical Vehicle. However, many United States National Guard and United States Army Reserve units continued to use them as the new family of vehicles was phased in. The M35 series was used by United States in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Canadian Forces Land Force Command adopted license built versions of the M35 (and M36 variant) in 1982, built in Canada by Bombardier. As of 2008, the trucks, designated MLVW (Medium Logistics Vehicle, Wheeled) were still in service. Canadian vehicles featured an automatic transmission, six wheels instead of ten (but still with dual rear axles), and an ether-start for winter operations. Canada had been investigating a replacement under the Medium Support Vehicle System Project, but no vehicle had been selected. The MLVW's were initially not deployed with Canadian Forces in Afghanistan because of their lack of armor protection. An armor kit was subsequently developed leading to a limited deployment of the vehicles.[1]


The M34/M35 series of trucks came in wide array of variants and subvariants. As noted engine differences could be noted by the A1, A2, or A3 suffix, but additional suffix letters were also sometimes added. These letters had different meanings depending on what variant they were applied to.

Cargo variants[edit]

As note the basic truck variants were first the M34, and then the M35. A long wheel-base variant the M36 was also developed. Variants with a C suffix (such as M35A2C or M36A2C) featured a straight drop-side cargo bed. The designated M44 and M45 chassis would serve as the basis for many more specialized variants.

Tank truck variants[edit]

The M49 fuel tanker and M50 water tanker variants were initially based off of the M44 chassis. The M49C series, however, were vehicles converted from C series drop-side cargo variants. The M50 had a 1000 gallon water tank.

Wrecker and Tractor variants[edit]

A wrecker based on the M35 truck was designated the M60. Two tractor variants, for towing semi-trailers were developed, one from the M44 chassis, the M49, and one from the M35 cargo truck, the M275.

Construction variants[edit]

A number of specialized construction variants were developed. M47 and M59 dump trucks were developed, based on the M44 chassis and M35 cargo truck respectively. An improved dump truck, again based on the M44 and designated the M342 was designed to replace both the M47 and the M59, as well as the M135-based M215.

The M108, based on the M44 chassis, carried a crane. The M756 was a specialized pipeline repair vehicle, the M763 was designed for telephone line repair, and the M764 was a specialized earth-boring and pole-setting variant.

Gun trucks[edit]

Eve of Destruction gun truck at Fort Eustis.

The versatility of the pattern was perhaps shown best in its usage as an armored "gun truck" for patrol duties and convoy escort.

The first conversions of the pattern were performed by the US military in Vietnam. US Army Artillery Battalions (Automatic Weapons, Self-Propelled) were often assigned Artillery Batteries (.50 Caliber), units equipped with M35 trucks and M55 machine gun systems mounting four M2 Browning machine guns. Units were also authorized a single M60 machine gun and M79 grenade launcher.[2] While the M35 was designed to act as the prime mover for the M55 system, which included a towed trailer, the M45 mount was often removed or the wheels removed from the trailer, and the system mounted on the bed of the truck. The M55 system was also mounted on the M54 truck.[3]

More simplified armoring projects were conducted as well, adding armored walls of various thicknesses to standard cargo variants. A smaller bed-mounted multi-angle "box" was also tried.[4] US Army gun trucks used a wide variety of weapons including the M2 Browning machine gun, M60 machine gun, and even the M134 Minigun.

At the end of the Vietnam War most of these vehicles were returned to their standard configuration, except for a single original example shipped to the US Army Transportation Museum at Fort Eustis, Virginia in 1971.[5]

The concept lived on well after the Vietnam War. El Salvador converted a number of M35 type vehicles into armored trucks in the 1980s, after successful conversions of Magirus Deutz trucks. These vehicles were nicknamed "Mazingers" in reference to the Japanese cartoon Mazinger Z.[6][7]

The Philippine Marine Corps also began converting M35 type trucks to an armored configuration by 2004. The first vehicle, dubbed "Talisman," utilized armor fabricated from derelict LVTP5 amphibious personnel carriers. Later gun trucks were built using more standard components and bear some resemblance to US military vehicles of the Vietnam era.[8] The Philippine Marine Corps had also begun the creation of an anti-aircraft element by 2006, utilizing M35 based vehicles. Two types of vehicles have been seen so far. One utilizes the Mk 56 Mod 0 mount from the Patrol Boat, River, with two M2 Browning machine guns, while the other features another former naval mount with a single Oerlikon 20 mm cannon.[9]



  1. ^ Priestly, Stephen. Canadian American Strategic Review. June 2006. Of Muddles and Medium Trucks – MLVWs and the Perils of Being Out-of-Step. Access Date: 26 April 2008.
  2. ^ Rottman, 2002. p. 8
  3. ^ Lyles, 2003. p. 10
  4. ^ Lyles, 2003. p. 21-2
  5. ^ Lyles, 2003.
  6. ^ Montes, 2001. p. 30
  7. ^ Spencer, 1995. p. 13
  8. ^ Cruz, M. Manoski's Orbat 7 December 2004. Philippine Marine Gun Trucks. Access Date: 26 April 2008
  9. ^ Cruz, M. Manoski's Orbat 10 June 2006. Marine Artillery. Access Date: 26 April 2008


  • Lyles, James. The Hard Ride; Vietnam Gun Trucks (Vol II). Quezon City, Philippines: Planet Art, 2003
  • Montes, Julio. Mexican and Central American Armor. Darlington, MD: Darlington Publications, 2001
  • Rottman, Gordon and Donald Spaulding. Vietnam Armor in Action. Hong Kong, China: Concord Publications, 2002
  • Spencer, David. Armored Fighting Vehicles of El Salvador. Darlington, MD: Darlington Publications, 1995

See also[edit]